Panthera  uncial  - Snow leopard captured by camera trap ( Click to enlarge)

Panthera uncial – Snow leopard captured by camera trap ( Click to enlarge)

Snow leopard ( Click to the enlarge)

Snow leopard ( Click to the enlarge)

Snow leopard ( Click to enlarge)

Snow leopard ( Click to enlarge)

 

Common name Snow leopard
Latin name Panthera  uncial Schreber 1775
Local name Barfani cheetah
IUCN/WPA/Indian status Endangered/I/Uncommon
Social unit Solitary, although  overlap of home ranges of males with other males and with females have both been recorded.
Size / weight HBL: 86-125 cm. TL : 80-105 cm. WT : 45-55 kg(males) 35-40 kg ( females)
Description One of the most aptly named animals, the Snow leopard is adapted completely to live in snow covered areas. It is marginally smaller then the common leopard, with a more luxuriant coat. It has back spots on its limbs and face and its pale smoky grey coat with ghostly dark grey rosettes , allow for excellent camouflage. The ears are short and round , and the back of ears have black edges and are pale. The snow leopard’s limbs are long and muscular , the chest is deep and the paws are massive in comparison to its body, all of which help to fell the large prey that it often needs to hunt.
Behavior Despite being a large carnivore, the harsh terrain and climate that it lives in forces the snow leopard to have a wide dietary range including rodents birds and wild goats. It kills every 10-15 days and it has been estimated to have a large prey consumption of approximately 20-30 adult Bharal annually. During the lean season small alpine mammals such as marmots pikas and hare comprise a fair share of its diet.
Distribution Through the high Himalayas from Jammu & Kashmir to Arunachal  Pradesh and trans Himalayas of Ladakh, Lahaul –Spiti, Gangotri and Tso Lhamo.Its range approximates the geographical range of its large prey the Bharal and the Ibex.
Habitat Alpine as well as subalpine and scrub above the tree line. It favours lightly forested  and steep terrain with rocky, broken country(1800-5800 m). Prefers areas  with proximity to cliffs.
Best seen Hemis NP, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir